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Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

Napa's BottleRock Pairs Aging Classics with Fresh Acts

It's better to catch an older band than none at all, but like wine, they're best experienced in their prime

Posted: June 3, 2014  By James Laube

Just like that, BottleRock came and went. The three-day music festival in Napa attracted tens of thousands to hear 60 bands, from cutting edge Indies to aging rockers, perform on four stages at the Napa Valley Expo.

Watching acts from yesteryear has limited appeal to me. Occasionally I attend concerts by performers decades past their heyday, and when they're on they can be inspiring. Usually, though, I'm disappointed, and almost always find myself thinking they were so much better in their prime. It reminds me of the way some people act when they extol a wine made decades ago.

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

10 Distinctive California Pinot Noirs

New reviews from the 2012 vintage in Mendocino’s Anderson Valley

Posted: June 2, 2014  By Augustus Weed

Blogs  :  Stirring the Lees with James Molesworth

Back to Cali

A return to California wine country to visit more wineries in Napa and Sonoma

Posted: June 2, 2014  By James Molesworth

I can't help but think of that song from my teenaged years every time I head back to California. Luckily, it's become a regular thing, making an annual visit to the Golden State. Not only getting to attend the Wine Spectator magnum parties in Sonoma and Napa that kick off the summer in wine country, but also getting to make a few stops at wineries.

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

A Three-Pronged Winemaking Approach Yields Outstanding Results

Cattleya's Bibiana Gonzáles Rave brings France, California and Colombia to her wines

Posted: May 29, 2014  By James Laube

Bibiana Gonzáles Rave approaches winemaking from at least three perspectives. The first is French, and the exacting standards she learned and rigorous training she received during her five vintages in France. Then there's the free-spirited, emotional South American approach that comes from growing up in Colombia. The third is what she's learned since making California her home.

News & Features  :  News

Charles Banks Firm Buys Big Stake in Napa’s Whetstone Cellars, Taps Winemaker for Evening Land

Winemaker Jamey Whetstone gains financial backing and will take post at Evening Land's Sonoma winery

Posted: May 28, 2014  By Aaron Romano, Mitch Frank

Blogs  :  James Laube's Wine Flights

A Globetrotting Winemaker's Sonoma Roots Grow Deeper

Native Colombian Bibiana González Rave wound her way through France, South Africa and California before making Sonoma home

Posted: May 27, 2014  By James Laube

Bibiana González Rave is, to my knowledge, the first Sonoma winemaker born and raised in Colombia. In California, she enjoyed her initial winemaking successes with Lynmar Pinot Noir, and as a result she has become something of a national celebrity in her homeland.

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

10 California Rosés to Brighten Your Day

New reviews of intriguing pink wines from the 2013 vintage

Posted: May 19, 2014  By Tim Fish

News & Features  :  News

Hirsch Vineyards Owner Hurt in Tractor Accident

Sonoma Coast pioneer is in stable condition; helped put region on the map

Posted: May 15, 2014  By Aaron Romano

News & Features  :  News

Former Hanzell Winemaker Bob Sessions Dies at 82

Winemaker spent 28 vintages making iconic Pinot Noir and Chardonnay at Sonoma winery

Posted: May 14, 2014  By James Laube

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

12 Seductive California Pinot Noirs

New reviews from the 2012 vintage in the Russian River Valley

Posted: May 12, 2014  By Augustus Weed

Blogs  :  Exploring Wine with Tim Fish

California’s Vintage 2014 Kicks into Gear

It looks like an early season as winemakers and growers hope for more rain

Posted: May 7, 2014  By Tim Fish

Things are getting busy in the vineyards of California right now. Vines are blooming in all but the coolest regions of the state. Those little flowers will turn into tiny grapes before you know it. I checked with a few winemakers and growers for the latest in the vineyards. The season is running early throughout the state, generally two weeks earlier than normal, but in some areas it's more than that. Which means that unless summer sends a weather curve ball, it will be another early harvest like 2013. Here are their reports from Napa, Sonoma, Paso Robles, Santa Barbara and more.

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

10 Tempting California Chardonnays

New reviews from the 2012 vintage in Sonoma’s Russian River Valley

Posted: May 5, 2014  By Augustus Weed

Blogs  :  Exploring Wine with Tim Fish

Good Merlot for Less Than $20?

Winemaker Nick Goldschmidt makes winning values that retain a sense of place

Posted: April 30, 2014  By Tim Fish

Nick Goldschmidt is one of the busiest winemakers I know. He's more under-the-radar than his friends Michel Rolland and Paul Hobbs, but spends five months a year on the road consulting for 26 wineries in seven countries, including Mission Hill in New Zealand, Viña Errázuriz in Chile and Don Sebastiani & Sons in California.

His Alexander and Dry Creek Valley Merlots are well-made, true to the variety and sell for $20 or less. Here are my notes on five of his recently-released 2012s.

April 30, 2014 Issue  :  People

A Link to Napa Valley History

Grapegrower Al Frediani tends a vineyard untouched by time

Posted: April 30, 2014  By MaryAnn Worobiec

April 30, 2014 Issue  :  News

In Brief: Eberle Out in Paso Robles; Giant Boulders Bowl Through Italian Vineyard

Posted: April 30, 2014  By MaryAnn Worobiec, Robert Taylor

April 30, 2014 Issue  :  People

Making It Look Easy

Winemaker Dave Phinney, creator of The Prisoner, has plenty more in the pipeline

Posted: April 30, 2014  By MaryAnn Worobiec

April 30, 2014 Issue  :  Features

California Faces Historic Drought

Posted: April 30, 2014  By James Laube, Tim Fish

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

10 Standout California Rhônes

New reviews of Syrahs and Petite Sirahs from across the Golden State

Posted: April 28, 2014  By Augustus Weed

News & Features  :  News

Wine and Spirits Giant Pernod Ricard Buys Sonoma's Kenwood Vineyards

Purchase of California winery could mark an expansion in the United States wine market

Posted: April 24, 2014  By Tim Fish

Blogs  :  Exploring Wine with Tim Fish

Growing Pains in Sonoma County

The chore of putting in a garden is lessened by thoughts of refreshing spring wines

Posted: April 23, 2014  By Tim Fish

It was such a beautiful day in Sonoma on Sunday that I started thinking about refreshing spring wines as I gardened. I like to take a break in the shade to sip a glass of wine, otherwise gardening seems like such a chore, so I pulled out a few wines to sample whenever my back started complaining. Here are 5 new reds and whites perfect for sipping outdoors this spring.

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